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Businesses With Macedonian Names and Brands Concerned About Prespa

Demonstration held in Melbourne against the Prespa Agreement. File photo by Wikimedia Commons

More than four thousand Greek businesses which have the terms “Macedonia” or “Macedonians” either in their brand names or in their descriptions, are now concerned about what the future might bring.
According to Greece’s Kathimerini newspaper, 182 total businesses in Greece have brand names connected to Macedonia and thirty-nine of them are in the food and agricultural sectors.
Their main concern is that after the ratification of the Prespa Agreement, companies from the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) will now have the right to use these terms as well. This may create consumer confusion and pose a real threat to the Greek companies’ interests in the global markets.
Many experts are currently advising the Greek companies to immediately follow European Union procedures to secure their logos and names in case a business challenges their right to use the terms. The Prespa Agreement appears to be ambiguous regarding this issue.
However, companies which produce goods with a “protected designated origin” or a “protected geographical indicator” will not be affected, as the laws of the European Union already protect them.
The Prespa Agreement states that a team of international experts with representatives from Greece and FYROM will try to solve any business-related disputes caused by this issue. The panel will be tasked with this responsibility within a year from its ratification, and keep working on any potential issues until the year 2022.

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